Thursday, January 22, 2015


The White House said Thursday evening that President Barack Obama will not meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when the Israeli leader visits Washington in early March.This has resulted in a bitter battle within the White House between the professional and the political staffs. And the political (brass knuckle) staff prevailed.

 "The president will not be meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu because of the proximity to the Israeli election," said National Security Council
 spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan. However, the  American Jewish community and the Israelis would be very justified in considering this a deliberate snub to Israel  and  an "in your face "message to American Jews.." I expect that due to my announced social agenda, you will support me unconditionally." Had this not been intended as a snub, the appropriate White House response would be to extend an invitation with the date of  the invited visit beyond the election date. In the past, in similar circumstances, the White House has also invited other political parties to meet with top representatives of the US government in Washington.

The original conversations concerning the invitation were begun well before the Israeli government announced new elections with staff discussions beginning last year,.
The invitation was a coordinated effort by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.. Then on January 8,after Boehner was  officially re-elected as  speaker, He called Dermer - a native of Miami Beach, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and close adviser to Netanyahu - to gauge the prime minister's interest. The Israeli embassy gave a "quick affirmative response," an aide told Politico .Boehner's office then provided a list of dates for a potential address, and the embassy chose the week of February 9. Boehner said that Netanyahu asked that the speech be rescheduled so that he can participate in the annual AIPAC conference as well. 
The date for Prime Minister Netanyahu's address to Congress has been pushed back by a fortnight to March 3, House Speaker John Boehner announced Thursday on his Twitter feed. This means that the speech to Congress will be delivered just two weeks before the Israeli elections on March 17.

Independent observers noted that this policy has been repeatedly breached in the cases of Japan, China and numerous other countries and that President Obama obtained audiences in Germany and other countries prior to (but part of) his first  election campaign and that President Obama did not hesitate to meet with foreign dignitaries during his last 2 presidential campaigns.